ASUS HD 7970 3GB Matrix Platinum Edition Review
After months of waiting, ASUS has finally graced the market with the latest version of their Matrix series. Using the HD 7970 GHz Edition as a starting point, they have thoroughly upgraded everything from components to cooling in order to create the HD 7970 Matrix.
With NVIDIA’s launch of their Kepler architecture, many were convinced the focus would be taken off of AMD’s HD 7000-series graphics cards and for the most part, that’s exactly what happened….until late last month. Instead of sitting on their laurels while GeForce-branded products gobbled up the lion’s share of sales during this holiday season, AMD began a two-pronged attack. New drivers were introduced which significantly increased the performance of nearly all Radeon cards while a far-reaching game promotion also came to fruition. Not only did the 12.11 drivers allow the HD 7970 GHz to retake the “fastest graphics architecture in the world” title but the game promo ensured that buyers of high end Radeons would get access to the latest triple-A titles. Naturally, this situation has played into ASUS’ favor as they go about launching the new HD 7970 Matrix series.
Like many of ASUS’ previous generations, the HD 7970 Matrix will be offered in two flavors: the $480 “standard” version and a higher end Platinum Edition which incorporates every feature one could possibly expect from an enthusiast graphics card and goes for a hefty $499. For the purposes of this review, we will be looking at the more expensive Platinum Edition.
Before we dive into the specifications, there needs to be a reminder about the HD 7970 Matrix’s true market focus. While both versions incorporate sky high clock speeds, their real value lies in overclocking potential rather than straight-up out of box performance. ASUS wants you to take the Matrix to its limit and their warranty fully covers clock speed and voltage increases as long as they remain within the included GPU Tweak utility’s constraints.
Instead of shying away from higher clock speeds like some other board partners have, ASUS has gone all-out with the Matrix Platinum. They use a GHz Edition core which gets pushed to 1.1GHz with Boost enabled while the memory runs at a blistering 6.6Gbps which is the highest frequency we’ve seen from an HD 7970 to date. The non-Platinum Edition meanwhile (not shown above) runs its core at reference GHz Edition speeds while the memory has been overclocked to 6.6Gbps.
With AMD’s graphics cards back in the limelight, this may have been a perfect time for ASUS to launch their Matrix Edition. Its high clock speeds, upgraded cooling solution and (supposedly) willingness to overclock could be a killer combination for anyone looking to upgrade their systems’ capabilities.
|Latest Reviews in Video Cards|